Sukma: Joy as well as disappointment for Muhammad Ikbolasen

KUALA LUMPUR – Long distance runner Muhammad Ikbolasen Md Kamal Hussain presented the Pahang contingent with their first gold at the 20th Malaysia Games (Sukma) in style after winning the men’s 10,000 metres (m) at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil here today.

However, the desire of the 20-year-old athlete from Cameron Highlands, who is making his Sukma debut at this edition to achieve further glory, was not fulfilled when his time of 31 minutes and 11.62 seconds (s) was not recognised as a new Games record.

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According to the Sukma’s Chief Technical Delegate V. Govindasamy, this was due to the decision made by the National Sports Council (MSN) not to recognise any entry as a new record given that the age limit for this edition has been extended to 23 years.

“All sports (contested), records are not recognised for their events, this is the decision of the (MSN’s) main committee. From the instructions we received, all records are not recognised,” he said when met by reporters.

“This is because the previous edition in Johor was not held (due to the Covid-19 pandemic), so the athletes (under 21 years of age) that we had previously registered for the opportunity to compete this time were under 23 years old while for new registration all under 21 years old,” he added.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Ikbolasen admitted he was only thinking about breaking the meet record in the event.

Although disappointed that his time was not recognised as a new Games record, he was still happy to be able to help Pahang win their first gold and the success has also fired up his spirit further as he will be competing in the 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m tomorrow and Saturday respectively.

“I am very happy because I had high hopes to win the gold and break the record, so in my mind I only focused on breaking the record. But when the time was not recognised I am a little disappointed, but I will not give up and keep trying,” he said.

In the meantime, his coach P. Subramaniam said Muhammad Ikbolasen is a dedicated athlete.

“His commitment is very high, after training sessions he will come to me and say he wants to train again because he was not satisfied,” he said.

The silver medal was won by Selangor athlete S. Dinesh Varma with a time of 33:33.69s while the bronze belonged to B. Ruveshwaran from Penang (34:13.07s).

The men’s 10,000m Sukma record of 31:47.95s that has lasted 26 years is held by A. Munusamy, who set it in the 1996 Pahang edition. – Bernama